Continuing his legacy of being able, by virtue of his non-presence in the White House, to actually tell the truth about how screwed up the country is, Al Gore gave a great speech to the Sierra Club back on September 9: Al Gore Speech 9/9/05.
In related Gore news, you should read this account by Greg Simon of Gore’s involvement in an airlift of stranded patients from the New Orleans airport in the wake of Katrina: Al Gore leads Charity Hospital airlift. Especially interesting to me are the accounts of the FEMA people (among others) making herculean efforts, doing absolutely everything in their power — to stop the airlift from happening.
The impression I get is that the people running the federal response to Katrina were plodding paper-pushers who viewed every offer of help as a potential pain the ass that would keep them at their desks past quitting time. They were like that sergeant presiding over the ammunition boxes in Zulu Dawn, making the runners line up and wait their turns as he dispensed boxes one by one, proceeding carefully and methodically while the camp was being overrun.
If you haven’t heard it before (or even if you have), this would be a great time to go listen to Al Gore by Monkey Bowl. The song was mentioned in that David Remnick piece about Gore that ran in the New Yorker last year (The wilderness campaign). Monkey Bowl, it turns out, is the brainchild of Bob Something, who is actually Robert Ellis Orrall, who is likewise described in the New Yorker piece, and whose album Plastic Three Fifty can be bought at the website of his independent Infinity Cat label.